Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 Review


Paranormal Activity 4 is, as you can tell the fourth installment in what has become a very successful horror series. For a movie of its kind, considering its only been out for less then a week has already brought in over $8 million at the box office. Now of course money isn't everything in terms of whether a movie is good or not, but this series has become quite popular over the last couple of years and has developed a very distinct fanbase.

To bring you up to speed, this movie takes place 5 years after the events from the second film. Which saw a young little boy by the name of Hunter disappear. This one focuses on a new family from Nevada, who are now subject to the terrifying paranormal events after a little boy who lives across the street, stays with them after his mother was taken to the hospital...... For reasons unknown.....

This series has prided itself on it's use of tension building with it's slow starts that eventually lead to intense climaxes. This one is no different, however unlike the first three films before, this one does start to pick up its tempo relatively quickly.  If you are one of those viewers who does get jumpy during horror movies, or maybe simply likes to point and laugh at others who do, in particular with this series, then this film is totally for you.

 I could feel how tense the film was based on the individual next to me who looked like he was going to hit ceiling like a cat. If you were a fan of the first two films, but maybe not quite as much into the third like I was, then let me give you the good news in saying that this one is definitely back on the upswing. For such a simple film it does a really good job of both building tension and also teasing you into thinking that maaaaaaaaybe something is going to happen..........Then it doesn't! For those of you who also maybe thought the first 3 didn't have as many intense moments as you were hoping for, then again this one does add more to the freakometer with noticeably more "scary" parts.  If you have been a fan of the ones before it, then you should remain a fan with the fourth installment as well.

Now because this series relies heavily on its plot, I do not recommend starting the series with this film. Some horror series' you can start and stop wherever you want, without needing to really know what's going on. This one is not really like that. If you aren't familiar with the first three I do recommend you catch up first. There are a few other negative things about this film which I will mention as well. First and foremost being the filming style. Within the first 10 minutes of the film the camera does move around quite a bit and for those who may be squeamish, or get motion sickness you might want to either take a gravol before seeing this film, or reconsider it all together.

The second thing that made me roll my eyes a little was the use of comedy in this film. Now don't get me wrong, its not a funny movie...... Well maybe if you laugh at horror it is, but its not meant to be funny, however there are some moments with some "comic relief" which is used to make light of some of the tense situations. These may make you grin or perhaps giggle slightly, but at some points I found were a little annoying.

Thirdly like a lot of movies like this, some of the most tense scenes are fairly predictable. Now as I said earlier the film does tease you a fair bit, but when you're "spider sense" starts going, more often then not something does follow. Now when you're in a movie theater because of the loud sound and larger picture, this magic is still pretty effective. Although if you were to stream it online, or watch it at home, you might be a little less spooked. Lastly there's the characters. This family is a little tough to get interested in. The mother and father are pretty flat and aren't very relatable. You'd like to think that if you were experiencing a paranormal event, or something just unnerved you, your parents would actually try and reassure you and or protect you. These parents don't really care and don't start showing signs of interest until its too late. The main character Alex is about the only person, you actually hope makes it through, but even then, she's a typical teenager and there are times where you want to backhand her. Finally there is the male character Ben... He's that predictable character in every horror movie where you're thinking" This guy is a douche bag, he's totally dead."

So to summarize, Paranormal Activity 4 is a good movie. It does stay true to the series, although with a few chinks in its armor here and there. This definitely is a theater movie, if you wait till its on netflix or video then it may not have the desired effect. If you're a fan of  the "Blair Witch" or "Marble Hornets" this is up your alley. Take what I said under advisement, but ultimately the choice is yours. Enjoy!

Here is the trailer for the fourth installment. 

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